More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Templeton Address 1983
What happens when a people forgets God? Does life go on as it did when the memory of the Divine was still intact? Does a society still function well? Do the buses run on time? Do the electricity grids continue to function? Do the courts continue to administer justice?
July is normally a month with little news. Not much happens. Journalists know this and take vacations during what is called a slow news cycle. Well, it wasn’t slow this year. It turns out that a pro-life organization called The Center for Medical Progress chose July to begin releasing a series of gotcha videos revealing more of the darkness of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States. The issue this time is the harvesting of baby body parts, probably for profit.
The first of these videos shows Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services munching on a salad and drinking red wine over a business lunch. Thinking she is talking with a prospective client, Dr. Deborah Nucatola tells those at the table that fetal livers are in demand and A lot of people want intact hearts these days. Nucatola’s own words are sickening:
We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.
Again, what Nucatola is talking about is nothing less than the harvesting of body parts. The video of her luncheon is more than chilling as we see and hear her casual, cavalier attitude about life itself.
The second video features Mary Gatter, the medical director at Planned Parenthood in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Gatter is also president of the Medical Directors’ Council, which is the central committee for all of Planned Parenthood’s affiliate medical directors. Gatter can be heard concluding that the fees for baby body parts are too low, saying, Let me just figure out what others are getting, and if this is in the ballpark, then it’s fine. If it’s still low, then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini. Gatter laughs and then says it again, I want a Lamborghini.
After these first two videos surfaced, Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards wrote an op-ed published in The Washington Post. In her editorial she squirmed a bit and then apologized for the tone of Planned Parenthood’s employees that was captured on video. The tone!
The fourth of a reported twelve videos was released on July 30. (These can be viewed on Youtube.com, but proceed with caution.) Near the end of this one, Dr. Savita Ginde, vice president and medical director for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, digs through the remains of an 11-week-old fetus in a Petri dish. She identifies the various body parts to the pro-life activist one by one and can be heard saying, It’s a baby.… And another boy! The man making the video complains that the water in the Petri dish causes the body parts to come apart. Dr. Ginde responds, Well, you know, a lot of times, especially in the second [trimester], we won’t even put water, because it’s so big you can put your hand in there and pick out the parts… So I don’t think it would be as war-torn.
This is what happens when we forget God. When there is no God, as another Russian writer reminded us, everything is permitted. Not only permitted, but paid for. Did you know that over a half billion dollars of your tax money goes to support Planned Parenthood?
As Andy Caldwell has recently written, we are “Vivisecting the Soul of America.” Vivisection. Are you familiar with the word? It refers to the practice of performing operations on live animals for the purpose of experimentation or scientific research… Midway through his essay, Caldwell writes,
A culture that thinks nothing of adultery, divorce, and the eschewing of marriage and having children altogether is exhibiting signs of self-destruction. These familial indices reflect our collective nosedive into the hellhole of narcissism. The abortion holocaust in America no doubt reflects a deep and abiding darkness of soul and spirit as it portends our demise as a culture and a civilized society.
This is what happens when we forget God. Erotic freedom becomes an idol to be worshipped regardless of the costs, children are disposable, fertility is frowned upon because there are too many of us already, and suicide becomes a viable option at the end of life. And then the videos. On July 29, a Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order forbidding the Center for Medical Progress from issuing any more videos. If the truth hurts, suppress it.
But the four videos are already out there for the world to see. As theologian Al Mohler has written,
We must pray that [these videos] will mark an important turning point in our nation’s conscience. Images and words can become seared in our minds. The horrifying knowledge of harvested baby hearts must lead to our own broken hearts.… A nation that will allow this, will allow anything.
We are not talking about mice or rats. These videos depict dismembered children whose body parts are for sale. May God help us!